Hope you’re all having a good week. Taking a mini break from the info-dense posts to bring you a fun one on the nonphysical changes we see once we start living a fitness focused lifestyle, I’m sure many of you can empathise!
1) You Realise That Einstein Was Right And That Time Is Indeed Relative
Time does not always pass at the same rate and let me tell you how I know this. If I plank for 60 seconds, that 60 seconds goes by slower than an asthmatic slug with heavy shopping however the very same 60 second rest period during a particularly vigorous HIIT workout is over before I’ve even curbed the Niagara Falls of sweat coming from my forehead.
2) At Any Given Time At Least 4 Major Muscles In Your Body Will Be Aching
Finally my legs have stopped aching…Aaaaand it’s leg day again. Ahh DOMS my old friend (That’s ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ in case you’re wondering). You know when you think you got away with it because it’s been 24 hours since the workout and then you wake up feeling like you’ve been hit by an 18-wheeled articulated truck? Yeah.
It’s satisfying but also annoying and you find yourself having to try and casually drop in ‘Oh my legs hurt so bad….from the gym…from leg day…’ into conversations to try and explain why you’re walking like a constipated duck in stilettos. And then you just sound like you’re gym-bragging. Can’t win, it’s be weird or be a bragger.
3) You Either Use A Lot Less Or A Lot More Shampoo, There Is No In-between
There’s two schools of thought here, there’s the ‘I am literally going to get it greasy again from my workout in 10 hours so what’s the point in washing my hair?’ argument. Then there’s the ‘Got to wash it after every workout, regardless of how soon the next one is or it will look like someone poured the remnant fat from the McDonalds fryers onto my head’. In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m the latter and go through twice the shampoo I used to, in some cruel twist of fate my hair is actually immune to the powers of dry shampoo and if left unattended for approximately 5 minutes, will amass more oil than the North Sea.
I tried skipping a hair wash once thinking ‘Maybe it’s not as greasy as I think’. My housemate then asked me a few hours later if I’d just washed my hair because it looked wet. Au contraire my friend, au contraire.
4) You Get Infuriated With The Media On A Daily Basis
You scroll down your newsfeed to see one of your friends is pushing a new juice diet or diet pill or wrap or any other kind of ‘quick fix’ for weight loss. You’re reading a scaremongering article with no scientific sources, warning of the dangers of protein powder or supplements or ‘working out too much’ or lifting weights.
It’s not socially acceptable to post your bomb-ass kale smoothie because you’re being one of those people but it’s perfectly acceptable, nay, encouraged for someone to post their 12 box of Krispy Kreme (and they are fools because it’s much better value to get a Double Dozen and share some doughnut love around, ex-employee here).
Don’t even get me started on the way society perceives fat as bad, carbs as bad, low-fat products as good and cardio as being the only effective way to burn fat. The thing is there’s always going to be misconceptions and it’s our responsibility to not be arrogant or know-it-all about it, but to try and spread the truth. The more you research and learn, the more you have existential crises where you suddenly realise you’ve become that asshole who tries to preach to people how to live and eat but just be respectful of people’s choices and offer advice if invited and you won’t be an asshole.
5) You Get Real Good Real Fast At Defending Your Lifestyle Choices
Why would you drink almond milk, dairy isn’t bad for you and you aren’t lactose intolerant. Why are you not eating bread, you said carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. Why do you take protein powder, just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean you need protein powder. Why do you wear lifting gloves, you can’t possibly lift that heavy to need them. Why do you take pre-workout, that’s full of chemicals and I thought you ate clean.
Notice how none of those had question marks? That’s because half the time, people aren’t being curious and they don’t want your well rehearsed and informative answer. They unfortunately want to knock you down a peg. I call it ‘defensive interrogation’, trying to defend their lifestyle choices by trying to make you falter on yours. Best way to deal with these people is to remain polite and informative and not get involved in an argument, just accept that you make different lifestyle choices and let the results speak for themselves. Say you’ve done your research and you’re happy with the way you’re doing things.
Of course that doesn’t always work and there’s going to be people who think your ‘hobby’ of living a healthy and active life is stupid and a waste of time and will not hesitate to inform you as such. In which case, those people can also not hesitate to kiss your perfectly sculpted ass.
6) You Forget What It’s Like To Carry Just One Bag
Or to eat out of anything other than Tupperware. When you devote your life to the way of meal prep you finally understand the hashtag #tupplife, and what a life it is. An ungraceful yet incredibly delicious and convenient way of life. There are days when you have several boxes of food in your gym bag, fill up two entire shelves of the work fridge and manage to barge into every man, woman and child en-route to your destination with said bag. Sometimes there’s the handbag, the gym bag, the food bag, the coat. No, this lifestyle is not for the coordinated or fashion conscious (unless you’re rich enough to buy one of those handbag-style meal prep bags or are Taylor Swift and pay someone to carry your real handbag whilst you carry your accessory handbag).
7) Your Definition Of ‘Little Victories’ Changes
As does your definition of ‘minor annoyances’. Little victories include not overcooking your batch of brown rice, finding a matching lid and tupperware box, finding an unused bench and securing it for all of your sets, saying no to a biscuit with your coffee, finding a cafe that stocks almond milk instead of soya, finding a spare hair grip in your gym bag and hitting a new personal best.
When you hit that PB
Minor annoyances include forgetting to wash your protein shaker straightaway and almost melting your skin off with the rancid smell, not screwing the lid on the shaker tight enough and ending up wearing the shake, people curling in the squat rack, not having any clean sports bras, forgetting a hair tie and people standing in front of you when you’re lifting in the mirror.
8) You Look And Feel Amazing
That’s right friends, it’s cheese time. For real though, they say it takes 2 weeks for you to notice changes, 4 for friends and family and 8 for the rest of the world and that’s not too far off. At first when you start to live a healthier lifestyle you might feel like crap, get sugar headaches, feel lethargic and like you have so far left to go. Stick at it for 2 weeks though and you’ll be amazed at the little differences. Stick at it for 2 months and you’ll see the bigger ones and who knows what it will be like after 2 years? I’ll have to let you know when I get there.
All I know is my life improved tenfold when I started this lifestyle. So many think this is a lifestyle of restrictions and rules but it’s one of liberation and education. I am free to eat and exercise how I want in order to get my results since I have learnt so much. It’s a lifelong journey with no real destination, the fun is in the process and my goals will be ever-changing.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for things that happen when you get fit as well as any ideas for blog posts you’d like me to write about. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.